Sketch: My Old Headphones

A quick sketch on a Moleskine Star Wars Limited Edition plain paper with a Waterman Phileas fountain pen (Extra Fine) filled with Colorverse Selectron pigment ink. I thought I’d test how Moleskine friendly the new Colorverse Selectron ink is (it is), while also creating a farewell sketch to my old headphones.

Advertisements
Sketch: My Old Headphones

Field Notes Signature Plain Paper Sketch Book review

I just received a pack of the Field Notes Signature blank page edition and noticed that on the front of the band it said,”Sketch Book” right below the “Plain Paper”. I opened it up and saw that unlike my beloved Dime Novel edition, these notebooks had no page numbers (a plus for me) and their pages were white and not cream coloured. That made me decide to break them out for a very quick sketching opportunity, to see how well they faired.

The notebook doesn’t open flat, and it tends to want to close on itself, so I used a clip to keep it open when I was sketching. Ideally you’ll need two clips and maybe a backboard of some kind to use it comfortably. The paper, as is normal with sketching paper, doesn’t take washes too well. It’s relatively thin and it buckles pretty easily, so only the lightest of washes should be attempted with it.

The drum set above was sketched with a Sanford No-Blot Pencil. You can see the paper buckling even though very little water was applied with a water brush.

The paper fared better with fine brush pens:

A tiny bit of spread when you lay down the ink too thickly:

Zero complaints when it comes to pencil sketches:

As is to be expected with this kind of paper, it works well with pencils and coloured pencils, having just enough tooth to make it work well with them, but not so great with fine and extra fine fountain pens and thin technical pens.

As you can see above, the Extra Fine Waterman Phileas (with Colorverse Selectron pigment ink) stuttered on the page.

The Signature also suffers from being an awkward size for a sketchbook: too large to be truly pocketable, too small to allow for anything more than tiny, quick sketches.

As a sketchbook, I’d not recommend it. There are better options in the market, ones that open flat, in better sizes, with hardcovers (a plus when sketching on the go), that take washes a bit better than the Signature does.

That being said, it’s a fountain pen friendly Field Notes, and so long as you’re not set on using nibs that in the extra fine realm or using this notebook as your main sketchbook, it’s a nice little thing to carry around and play with. There’s nothing wrong with a notebook that can take a little doodle next to your todo list…

 

Field Notes Signature Plain Paper Sketch Book review

Robert Oster Ink is Moleskine Friendly

Either Moleskine have improved the quality of their paper, or Robert Oster ink is magical, but it definitely doesn't suffer from feathering/spidering/spread. There's some show through, and in wider nibs, a bit of bleed through, but nothing that makes it unusable. That's pretty surprising for such saturated ink, and good news for those looking for Noodler's ink replacements.
Tested with fine, medium and 1.1 stub nibs with equal success.

Robert Oster Ink is Moleskine Friendly

Purple Heart: An Ink Review

Purple Heart

Another selection from Noodler’s, Purple Heart is one of Nathan’s less imaginatively named colours (I mean the man has an ink called “Black Swan in Australian Roses” in this colour range, so “Purple Heart” is a bit on the dull side).

A dusky, reddish purple that shades nicely, this ink closely resembles the much better named Tyrian Purple from Diamine. Except it is about $2 cheaper. And shades less. And is harder to clean out of your pen. And is more difficult to obtain.

This is the kind of ink that you buy when you are trying to show your rebel side at work, after you have had your fill of the excitement that blue-blacks have to offer. Dark enough to not call too much attention to yourself, but unique enough to make your heart flutter, this would be a decent ink to pick up after you have a good selection of black, blue, blue-black, brown, dark green, grey and that cool-ink- with-the-sparkly-bits-in-it.

Properties-wise Purple Heart got the very short end of the stick  — it had nothing going for it except its tantalizing colour. It is not waterproof or water-resistant. It takes a long while to dry — meaning that it is not going to be a lefties favourite. It is not particularly Field Notes and Moleskine friendly (a lot of bleed through and show through, which makes the other side of the paper practically useless), nor does it have any earth shatteringly interesting properties. It is lubricated, which means that it flows well, and plays particularly well with piston fillers (until you have to clean them out, at least).

So why did I pick this ink over its Tyrian counterpart? Because I am stupid. This ink is a Goulet Pens exclusive, and at the time that was all it took to get me to bring out the space credits. I know — I am that silly. It is a nice enough ink for me to not feel too bad for having it (after all there is nothing more sustaining than using an offbeat ink during the most boring meeting in the world), but faced with a similar choice today, Diamine’s Tyrian Purple would get my vote. After all, that ink that was so good looking on the page that you could stare at it for hours, loses a lot of its lustre after you are forced to stare at it for hours going down the drain.

 

Purple Heart: An Ink Review

Bad Belted Kingfisher: an ink review

Bad Belted Kingfisher

This is Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher.

Right off the bat it scores points for having a badass name. But if you were expecting it to be a kingfisher blue, you might be disappointed. Like its namesake, a bird that only American pen addicts are likely to be familiar with, this ink has less turquoise and teal tendencies, and more royal blue, even slightly blue-black ones.

Its depth of colour means that if you are looking a “shader”, then you will find better options around, although it does show some variation between deep, deep blue, and deep blue. On Tomoe River Paper. In bright light. With certain nibs. But the variation does exist.

The kingfisher, bad boy as he is, is not too picky when it comes to paper. Field notes, Moleskine — he’ll handle the lot of them, without feathering or too much bleed-through. So this ink is crappy paper certified, providing you forgo your gushing double broad italic fountain pen and stick to something more conservative, like a European fine nib, or a Japanese medium. There are limits, after all, to even the best of inks.

When it comes to the cool and oftentimes wacky Noodler’s properties, BBK did not get much love. It is not quick drying (but dries in a few seconds even on Rhodia paper, so not much to complain about there), freeze resistant, lubricated, fluorescent, sparkly, ghosty or scented. What it is water resistant, and part of the Warden series.

Now when it comes to water resistance and fountain pen inks it is important to remember:

  1. No  water resistance until the ink is not completely dry. That can take hours on certain types of paper.
  2. Water resistant is NOT waterproof. Rinsing it out with water will create a mess. Putting it in the washing machine will create a mess. Rubbing a wet finger to test if it is really waterproof (it isn’t) will create a mess.

Water resistant means that if you drop a few drops of water on it after the ink has dried, then you will still be able to read what you wrote after the water dried. That is the only thing promised on the tin (er… bottle).

So, about the Warden aspects of this ink… If you are interested, you are welcome to read about it here.

The ink was developed in the good old days of 2011, when the possibility of someone forging bank documents with ink was still a thing (?). These days, I’d just focus on BBK’s colour rather than its Warden superpowers.

So we are left with a middle of the road ink in terms of properties, with Noodler’s signature cheap price and good-looking bottle, with a colour that is nice, but is no Bungo Box 4B. There is no fun in it — no sheen, no hidden hue, no interesting shading, no cool property. In a field so crowded with great blue and blue-black inks, the kingfisher just doesn’t stand out.

Which is a shame, considering its name. Such a brightly-coloured bird deserves better treatment in ink, does it not?

Bad Belted Kingfisher: an ink review